Taking the lead from A.Mac, whose concept was a revelation to me, I have gone through some of my colour shots and desaturized them, while also gearing up the contrast for more distinct dilineation between the darks and lights.  For each photo I have posted first of all the original colour shot, followed by the B&W creation from it, explaining my feelings about what was accomplished by doing so.  Thanks for that idea, A.Mac.  You have opened up a whole new avenue for me to play with.

This is a 1500 year old tree.  The red banners and lanterns have been hung on it for good luck (not for the tree, but for the persons hanging them).

Lacking the distraction of the red hangings, the focus is on the tree itself. in particular the Medusa-styled roots.

Despair personified, but the colour reduces the depth of the despair.

The absence of colour accentuates the emotion.

Because of its vivid colour, the boat is the primary focus when you view this picture.

Your eyes turn quickly to the geese in this case, arousing curiousity as to what they are doing.

On the subject of boats, this was taken on the Li River while cruising through the Karst mountains south of Guilin.  Note that the hillside is a distraction.

The hillside distraction disappears, most likely because of the lack of colour.  It becomes no more than background.

One might think they were in the wild west for this, but it was in a small park behind a museum in Nanning, Guanxi Autonomous Region near the south of China.

In this case, the better photo is probably the colour one, because it is difficult to make the subject stand out from the background without the benefit of the contrasting colour. A heavier hand on the contrast and a touch of saturation was necessary here.

Colour makes this photo current which does not match the subject, which is retrospective.

Now this definitely looks like a much older photo, taken perhaps in the 20s or 30s, which is a better context for the subject matter.

In this case, colour does provide good contrast against the mist (pollution?).  Your focus is on the flowers.

Now it is more probable that your eye is drawn back to the distant hills shrouded in mist.

What appears most attractive here is the pink-flowered bush.

Now the structure and the vines are the main focus, without the distraction of the flowered bush.

So the transition of the photos from colour to black and white can make a considerable difference, virtually changing the perspective and concept.

 

 

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Replies to This Article/Seed

These are fine examples of extending the range and feeling and impact of imagery.

An ironic analogy is to say ... "If we only think of photos and graphic art as being "in color" ... aren't we thus looking at reality as if everything were just black or white?" (I've put my © on that btw).

I began a book about a year or so ago ... title, also my © ...

"Image Ego, Image Alter-Ego ... "

Maybe I'll get back to working on it.

Cover Design ... also © ...

© A. Mac

THANKS BUZZ ... share more of these ... they're outstanding and they should inspire others to try.

A.Mac:  I can understand your concern about few viewings on this group.  You posted autumn photos on the forum and at this time have 69 views (there are only 47 members on NewsTalkers).  I see that I have 8 views, and you are the only person to post a comment.  Should I be posting on the forum too?  Would I have to go through the whole procedure again to do that?  On the last reincarnation of NewsTalkers, Perrie would repost on the front page if it interested her.  I don't know if she can do it here.

Buzz,

I'd post in both the group and the forum ... and Perrie brought to my attention the importance of adding tags (key words) as they get to the search engines! Many internet users do key word searches and will go to links generated by those key words.

If you added words like "photography," "black-and-white," "photo-editing," "art," "grayscale," "color," "digital-darkroom," ... I think, over time, your article will be found and, if/when it is, those who see your work will make it a habit to look for more.

Looks like you had some fun!  I do like the contrast between color and b/w.  Especially with the woman with her head in her hands.  Very moving.

You're right, it's not always easy to find things in Groups - I just saw this one this morning and had not previously known it was here to look at!

Hi Buzz,

Your photos are outstanding, and your explinations are excellent, including when B&W doesn't work. It upsets me when a great article like this gets lost. I see that Mac has explained to you what I told him. I hope that helps!

I am trying to get people to look at the groups. If you look under the listing of groups you will see a listing by groups of the latest articles in those groups. That isn't a function of Ning. I have to manually put them in, but I don't mind doing the work if people notice. Maybe I need to move that mod to a better spot so it's noticed. I'll take any input on this issue.

These are truly fascinating. Color -or, the lack of it -does indeed make a huge difference. The one in the Hills, and the one of the structure with vines have a particular impact in B&W! Excellent shots!

I'm happy to see this excellent photography study receiving the attention it deserves.

I'd love to have more interest in the conceptual aspects of photography appear in the group.

A.Mac, your photography group now has twice as many members as the whole of the NewsTalkers membership at the time I posted this article, so hopefully more of them will scroll back as LP Johnson did to see the gems that are there, and consider contributing something themselves.

Your comment is appreciated, LP Johnson.

Buzz, this article is especially interesting for me, as I am color blind. Your commentaries verbalize what I see when looking at the contrasting versions of each photograph.

In particular, in the photo where you mention the pink flowers, all I see is shades of dark in the color print. The black and white picture is much more beautiful to me because each separate path the vines take is crisp while the contrast with the columned walkway is so acute, the result is breathtaking.

I may be color blind, but I still see a great deal of beauty. Color just adds another dimension.

Thanks for this great article, Buzz  

Good to see this again; some lessons bear repeating.

Thanks, A.Mac. I hope others can learn something from it. Establishing that photos can be just as effective or even more so in B&W, here are a few of mine:

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